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Is it possible to have a Chain made of individual links that is being controlled by rigid body physics to split on an exact point on an exact frame?

I have a chain around a character and in the center of the chain there is a "padlock" type device, I want it to open and let the chain fall mid animation. Can this be achieved in Blender with rigid body physics or does everything have to be animated by hand?

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Yes - you can animate the properties of the rigid body constraints to effectively disable the link.

For example, here is a chain of cubes, linked together with a series of Rigid Body Constraints - each set to a Stiffness of 40. At a certain frame the keyframes Stiffness drops to zero, splitting the 'chain' :

keyframes stiffness

The produces the following when animated :

animated breaking chain

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  • $\begingroup$ That's exactly what I need! But do I need to apply constraints to every chain link? I'm asking because I never used constraints before. $\endgroup$ – Pherion Sep 26 '18 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Pherion Yes - you'll need to add constraints to each chain link - however, it's quite easy to do by selecting all your active rigid body chain links, going to the toolbox panel (T), clicking on 'Connect' while they are all still selected, setting the Type, and changing the Connection Pattern to "Chain By Distance". Blender will then automatically create a constraint linking each member of the chain to its closest neighbours. $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Sep 26 '18 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ If you change the properties of any one constraint that you want to apply to all the others, then select them all first, change the setting, then right-click the setting and select 'Copy to Selected'. $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Sep 26 '18 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thank you for this information. Not a whole lot of information about this topic online and I didn't saw anything like a "pin" feature like in cloth sim to do what I wanted. So this should help others also that may run into this same issue. $\endgroup$ – Pherion Sep 26 '18 at 17:03

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